Panasonic introduces the premium compact-style Lumix DMC-GX1, its fourth current compact system camera in the range that packs the same number of pixels as its larger siblings
Viewfinder, LCD and Video
As a compact-style model, the Lumix DMC-GX1 does not feature any kind of viewfinder. Instead, the LVF2 electronic viewfinder is available to buy separately (£239). Once this cost is added to the ‘X’ lens, the price of the kit virtually matches the Sony NEX-7, which features the company’s innovative 2.359-million-dot EVF.
Having used the LVF2 viewfinder, it is not of the same standard as that in the NEX-7, but it is nevertheless an improvement on Panasonic’s first-generation unit. Panasonic’s LVF2 is compatible only with the GX1, and the older LVF1 viewfinder will not work with the camera. I like the smaller body of the GX1 and the option to add a viewfinder when I need it. After all, a compact system needs a compact body.
Much of the operation of the camera revolves around its 3in, 460,000-dot touchscreen. Handily, virtually all the controls can be achieved via buttons on the body, too. The screen has a relatively low resolution by today’s standards, but its output is bright and natural, with a wide and clear viewing angle. Its accurate representation of images in playback is very helpful to ensure that an accurate exposure has been achieved.
The touchscreen in the Lumix G models is the most successful attempt at incorporating this technology in a camera. It is responsive and particularly helpful by offering touch AF and metering.
There are several ways to control the camera through the touchscreen. In creative control mode, for example, a touch slider can be used for aperture control. In short, the touchscreen enhances the handling and speed of use.
Video users will appreciate full 1080/60i videos at 30fps, with stereo sound. I captured several videos with the 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, which features optical image stabilisation, and was very happy with the results. Full-resolution videos are available in AVCHD and the popular MPEG-4 format, providing compatibility with a wide range of devices.
The 15.8-million-pixel sensor is capable of capturing a high level of detail